Although I’m a basketball fan, in recent years I’ve watched very few NBA games. This year I watched zero. Not even the NBA finals.
I’ve not only become disenchanted with the pro game itself but with so many chest-thumping, camera gawking, self-absorbed men enamored by their own greatness.
Now, I wish I have seen some of the finals just to watch Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo, known as the “Greek Freak,” led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first championship in 50 years by averaging 35 points in the six championship games and scored 50 points in the final game over the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m extremely blessed,” Antetokounmpo, said, holding the Finals trophy and the Finals MVP trophy.
According to an article by Michael Foust in ChristianHeadlines.com “ Antetokounmpo began playing basketball as a teenager with the goal of helping his family escape poverty.
The son of Nigerian parents who immigrated to Greece in search of a better life, Antetokounmpo and his brother hawked watches and other items on the streets of Athens in order to support the family.
After being drafted in 2013, he credited God after winning his first NBA MVP award in 2019.
“First of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with this amazing talent, for putting me in the position that I am in today,” he said in 2019, according to Sports Spectrum. “Everything I do, I do through Him. I’m extremely blessed.”
Again in 2020, when he earned the MVP title, he began his acceptance speech saying, “I always thank God for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.”
In a 2015 blog, he said his motto was “Walk by Faith, NOT by sight” – a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s humility, faith, and thankfulness are in stark contrast to so many arrogant players who live a life of entitlement.
“Extremely blessed” is an attitude all of us should cultivate in our personal and professional lives.
If you were born in America, as Dr. Ben Carson recently noted, you’ve already won the lottery. Regardless of whatever faults and problems our country may have, we’ve enjoyed tremendous blessings of freedom, free enterprise, the pursuit of our personal goals in life, and the exercise of our faith.
Even more importantly, if you’re a Christian, you’re “extremely blessed.” The Bible reminds us that we have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). The word “blessing” means “bounty” or “benefits.”
Think of spiritual blessings, bounty, and benefits we enjoy.
- Recipients of God’s grace, love, and mercy.
- Redeemed by the blood of Christ.
- Forgiveness of our past sins.
- Sealed with the Holy Spirit.
- Given God’s Word, the Bible.
- Hope of a better life.
- Heirs of a heavenly inheritance.
- Access to God’s throne through prayer.
- Partakers of the Divine nature.
- Fellowship with other Believers.
- Deliverance from the fear of death.
- Release from sin’s guilt.
- Power to overcome temptation.
- Inner peace.
- Promise of an incorruptible body.
Being “extremely blessed,” ought to humble us and give occasion to daily thanksgiving. It should improve our spiritual focus. Encourage us to grow in God’s grace and knowledge. And challenge us to reach forward to the heavenly prize.
Realizing we’re “extremely blessed” will provide a balance to our lives. Decrease our complaining. Diminish the temptation for self-pity. And develop a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a Christian.
“Extremely blessed.” Yes. We. Are.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman